Utah’s Department of Health reports that approximately 32 percent of homicides in the state were connected to domestic abuse in 2011. More than 3,400 women, men and children sought protection in shelters to flee abusive environments.
Instances and threats of domestic abuse must be taken seriously. Help is available for those who find themselves in these situations. One legal remedy is to request a protective order.
Utah Protective Order Basics
Utah state law allows domestic abuse victims to file for protection with a Request for a Protective Order. A protective order is designed to keep a person from harming those who file the request, which can include the person requesting protection, known as the petitioner, and the petitioner’s children. The court order prohibits the accused from contacting the petitioner.
A protective order is available in a variety of situations, including divorce resulting from an abusive relationship. Many elements of a protective order can be particularly useful in this situation. In addition to offering actual protection, this document can result in:
- Temporary possession of a home, primary vehicle and certain pieces of personal property
- Temporary custody of children
- Temporary support for the children
This document also provides police with the ability to arrest a person who violates the order.
Getting a Protective Order in Utah
Certain factors must be met to qualify for a protection order. Those who were actually physically harmed or fear harm from someone they lived with or have children with may be eligible for a protective order. The law takes a broad view of what it considers harmful conduct and includes acts of hitting, kicking, pushing, harassing, not allowing someone to call for help and threats of these actions within the definition.
A protective order can be requested without a fee, but forms must be filed with the court and the person requesting protection is generally required to attend court hearings.
Although a protective order offers only temporary custody and support, it serves as a useful tool during a divorce involving an abusive relationship. If you are considering filing for divorce because of an abusive relationship or have recently filed paperwork and would like to request a protective order, contact an experienced Salt Lake City protective orders lawyer to discuss your options and help guide you through the process.